Vertigo is defined as sudden perception of rotational motion due to dysfunction of the system that maintains the balance of the body (vestibular system in inner ear and the brainstem). Dizziness is a collective term to describe situations ranging from feeling lightheaded or faint to feeling unsteady and weak. Vertigo and dizziness are common medical problems and affecting around 25% of the population at some time of their life. These are usually indicators of underlying problem rather than diseases themselves. Vertigo is more common among females than males and among the elderly population comparing to the young individuals.
Most of the time vertigo is short lasting and occur due to benign causes; but it has to be kept in mind that some serious conditions can also cause vertigo. Vertigo and dizziness due to any cause is the most frequently encountered reason of falls experienced specially by elderly individuals, sometimes with devastating results such as fractures, intra cranial hemorrhages and internal organ damage that may even cause death.
Vertigo can be broadly classified in to two groups
This arises due to a damage to balance center in the central nervous system. Usually accompanied with other neurological deficits but nausea and vomiting is less common comparing to peripheral vertigo. Prognosis is also poor in central vertigo comparing to peripheral vertigo. Common causes are:
Vertigo arises due to disorder in inner ear or vestibular system. Prognosis is good .Common causes are,